My Dad passed away on March 8th. We had the miracle of getting to be with him for 7 months, instead of the 3 months the doctors had predicted. There was time to say the things that needed saying to all his living brothers and sisters, grandkids, nieces, nephews, cousins, students and friends.
There was one last good Christmas together. Even in December he was healthy enough to still be walking 3 miles a day. He was making plans to go on a trip in March, but sadly, he took a turn for the worse after Christmas.
Thanks to his dear brother, wonderful wife, friends, and hospice nurses, he was able to be at home most of that time. In his last week, he had to be transferred to the VA Hospice wing. They took wonderful care of him there, and he had family and friends around him every day.
Two of his sisters and his wife, were with him praying over him, when he took his last breath and went out of this world to meet his Savior.
Since then, I have cried so many times. I've also thrown myself into massive home improvement projects. Clearly I am out of my mind to tackle such a thing at this time, but there you go. Everyone grieves in their own way. I renovate.
Honestly, it feels like self care. I have been raising kids and taking care of my aunt, and then my Dad during his illness, and I'm worn out. But these are things that I've put off for so long, because there's never enough time and every other need always trumps my needs. Right now, I'm just saying yes to all those projects I put on the back burner for so many years.
I'm sure I'm pushing my feelings aside some as I do this, but not altogether. I cry in small doses, because I couldn't handle more than that at a time. I'm doing this so I don't get depressed. When I see the improvements, it lifts my spirits, and gives me hope for a new life. I need that, because picturing a life without my Dad seems impossible right now. Yet, here it is, another day that calls to me to live it fully, and without regrets.
Dad's untimely death from brain cancer, gave me the message loud and clear. "Death will come. You do not have forever to put things off! Do what you must do, now! Cast off the frivolous and mundane! There's no time for that!"
So, the whole house is getting an overhaul. I'm finally getting that painting studio I've always wanted. We put a wall of glass across the back porch. I can go paint anytime I get the urge, and I don't have to clean it up, if I'm not done yet.
I got a new bed. (We spend a lot of life on our beds.) I'm cleaning and throwing out loads of junk. I refuse to be buried under the weight of stuff I don't have time to deal with, nor do I want to burden some other poor soul with throwing out my junk after I die.
My father, (bless him), knew how to cast off the superfluous, each day. So, I have next to nothing of stuff, that he hadn't already offered to me as gifts. I treasure his paintings the most. They hang all over my house. I already had his medals, (a silver star and purple heart), because he thought my son might want them one day.
Today, I was feeling particularly down. I was making my bed, and every movement took so much effort, it felt like I was swimming through pudding. I thought, "The world keeps moving at it's normal speed, but I'm stuck in slow motion." I know it's grief and that it takes time, but it's lonely.
Just then, a woman called, whom I've never met, but is distantly related to me through my great aunt. Her name is Susan Lana Hafner. She was letting me know that my aunt had made a donation in my father's name to send a prayer pillow to a soldier. They are prayed over, like prayer cloths and are intended to be used for private prayer time with God.
She also told me that she and her husband wanted to send each of my children a prayer pillow in their grandfather's memory. I was so touched! I'd never even spoken to this woman before, but I ended up bawling like a baby and telling her all about my Dad. She was so kind, and her timing was so perfect. It felt like God was telling me that He knows what I'm going through, and didn't want me to feel lonely.
This is their website: http://www.onetouchawakening.org/susan_lana.html
I feel lighter now, at least lighter that when I was barely keeping my head above pudding.